#NewsBytesExplainer: What is virtual RAM technology in smartphones?
In almost every new smartphone these days, we hear terms like Dynamic RAM Expansion, RAM Plus, or even Extended RAM. All of these terms mean the same thing - virtual RAM. RAM (Random Access Memory) is a superfast type of storage embedded in the phone while virtual RAM technology adds some more capacity in a virtual manner. Here's understanding virtual RAM technology.
Why does this story matter?
All the tech giants have started introducing virtual RAM feature in their smartphones, be it a mid-range offering or a premium model. It is a nifty feature and naturally, some brands have started introducing it on older handsets via updates. But how does the technology work, and should it be a deciding factor while buying a new smartphone? This article answers such questions.
What is virtual RAM?
RAM is a short-term volatile memory that temporarily stores an app's working data in the background. With virtual RAM, the software uses a portion of the phone's internal storage as RAM to virtually increase the overall memory. For instance, if you have a phone with 8GB/128GB configuration and virtually extend its RAM by 5GB, you will get 13GB of RAM and 123GB of storage.
Virtual RAM allows the smartphone to load more apps
When you enable virtual RAM feature, it sends the temporary files to the device's allocated internal storage (ROM). The software then prioritizes and filters which apps need to be stored in virtual RAM. This makes room in the actual physical RAM, allowing you to load more apps. Once you enable virtual RAM for the first time, you will need to restart the phone.
Phones without virtual RAM support delete an app's temporary files
In smartphones without virtual RAM feature, once you have used the available RAM to its maximum capacity and then open more apps, the system will start an optimization process and delete the app's temporary files. This allows opening new apps but the older ones restart instead of resuming from where you left them. Virtual RAM solves this problem by temporarily expanding the RAM capacity.
It will work only if enough free storage is available
Virtual RAM feature enables more apps to stay open in the background for a longer period of time, allowing for better multitasking and performance. It simply offers additional RAM at no extra price. However, performance-wise, physical RAM beats virtual RAM in terms of speed and reliability. Also, virtual RAM will work only if your device has enough internal storage to spare.